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Hudson Valley Community College Early Childhood Program Receives National Accreditation

CONTACT: Eric Bryant (518) 629-8072,
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Hudson Valley Community College's Early Childhood associate degree program recently received accreditation by the National Association for Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The accreditation confirms the program meets the highest standards of professionalism and teaching.

Since the associate degree accreditation process was established in 2006, only 94 associate degree programs at 69 institutions have earned NAEYC, Early Childhood Associate Degree Accreditation (ECADA) .

The Early Childhood program, which has been in existence at the college since 1970, serves 250 students each year. The associate degree is a program within the Teacher Preparation Department, which also offers a certificate program for those interested in becoming teaching assistants.

NAEYC sets the national standards for higher education programs for early childhood teacher preparation. The NAEYC professional preparation standards are based on recent research in early childhood development and describe what well-prepared graduates should know and be able to do. They provide a common vision for quality early childhood teacher education in associate, baccalaureate and graduate degree programs and are implemented through two accreditation systems.

To receive accreditation, the program must meet five core standards and, according to the accreditation summary, the college's Early Childhood program "substantially met" and "exceeded expectations" in all five standards.

Educators from the NAEYC were on campus during the fall semester to interview students, faculty and other stakeholders related to the program. They visited several clinical field sites used by the program and observed the faculty and students in several classes.

The accreditation will remain in place for seven years, and the department is required to provide an annual status report to the NAEYC.

"The accreditation substantiates the high expectations and high level of professionalism that we expect from our students," said Department Chair Nancy T. Cupolo. "It recognizes the excellence of our teaching faculty, our cutting edge use of technology and the importance of the extensive hours of clinical field experience our students are expected to complete."

Founded in 1953, Hudson Valley Community College offers more than 70 degree and certificate programs in four schools: Business; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Science; and Liberal Arts and Sciences; and an Educational Opportunity Center for academic and career training. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of more than 13,000 students, and is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and workforce training. Hudson Valley has more than 65,000 alumni.